Five international players from Punjab – former Indian hockey captain Rajpal Singh, shooter Avneet Sidhu Hundal, hockey player Gurbaj Singh, shooter Harveen Sarao and discus thrower Harwant Kaur – have been promoted to the rank of superintendent of police in Punjab Police. The five were promoted along with 15 other Punjab Police officers via a order by the state home department issued on June 27.
Punjab had appointed 10 international medallists as DSPs in in 2011, and nine in 2017 apart from appointing some others including cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur and wrestler Navjot Kaur through Cabinet.
Hundal was among the first batch of five sportspersons including wrestler Palwinder Singh Cheema, athlete Manjit Kaur and hockey player Amandeep Kaur, who were directly appointed as DSPs in July, 2011. The same year in December, five more players including Rajpal Singh, Harwant Kaur, shooter Manavjit Sandhu, shooter Harveen Sarao and hockey player Gurbaj Singh were appointed as DSP.
“Being promoted comes as a huge motivation for the players and I am glad that our efforts have been recognised. When we were appointed, it happened at a right time as active sportspersons need job security and we are thankful to Punjab government for providing us this opportunity to serve the state. I was appointed as DSP in 2011, six months before Rajpal Singh, whom I married in 2013,” said Hundal, who is a Asian Games and Commonwealth Games medallist and currently posted with 3rd commando unit of Punjab Police.
Rajpal Singh, former Indian captain and member of the 2010 CWG silver medal winning hockey team and 2010 Asian Games bronze medal winning team, initially joined as DSP Traffic at Mohali. He is currently posted as DSP technical support and forensic sciences at Mohali. “First being appointed was itself a huge motivation for players and taking the challenge and doing the duty with full responsibility acted as further motivation for us. Promotion also brings more responsibility and accountability and I am looking forward to the challenge. At home, I discuss about rules and regulations with my wife Avneet,” he said.
Shooters Manavjit Sandhu and Ronjan Sodhi are yet to complete their mandatory training for DSP and were not considered in the promotion list.
Another hockey player, Gurbaj Singh, a member of the 2010 and 2014 CWG silver medal winning Indian team and 2010 Asian Games bronze medal winning Indian team apart from being an Olympian (2012 London Olympics), is currently posted as DSP, 27th battalion at Punjab Armed Police Sports Complex, Jalandhar. “As a player, we continued playing for Punjab Police apart from also doing our duty. We are thankful to the Punjab Police department for the support in all these years. Such acts motivate the present generation and future players in the state,” said Gurbaj.
While Punjab government had advertised for a total of 125 posts – 10 of DSPs, 50 Sub-Inspectors and 65 constable – it had given appointment letters to nine DSPs and 33 SIs. The remaining posts were lying vacant and some have been filled up.
Former Indian hockey captain and Punjab Congress MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment believes that adhoc appointments should not be done and players should be given appointments within a small time frame after winning international medals. “Players are committed for state’s cause and whatever field they work, they do it with full dedication. Regarding sports quota jobs, Punjab government has three per cent sports quota in all jobs as per latest policy and by this system, the best lot of players can be picked. I believe that ad hoc appointments should not be done and sports appointments should be done regularly with latest achievers getting a job within a short time frame,” he said.
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